Government Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption Media Articles from Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These government corruption articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Government Corruption Media Articles


Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

US used Nazis as Cold War spies
2014-10-27, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29795749

Declassified US records reveal the nation's intelligence chiefs used hundreds of Nazis as spies and informants after World War Two. Academics studying the documents say America used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis. Some had served at the highest levels of the Nazi Party, and were recruited to work as spies for the US in Europe. Former SS officer Otto von Bolschwing reportedly wrote policy papers on how to terrorise Jews, but was hired by the CIA to spy in Europe after World War Two. The agency is said to have relocated him and his family to New York in the 1950s as a reward for loyal service. Nazi collaborator Aleksandras Lileikis - linked to the massacres of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania - was recruited by the US as a spy in East Germany and later brought over to Boston. There is evidence the CIA even tried to intervene when Mr Lileikis became the subject of a war crimes investigation. Records indicate long-time FBI director J Edgar Hoover not only approved of the use of ex-Nazis as spies, he also dismissed the horrific acts they had been involved in during the war as Soviet propaganda. The revelations come one week after an Associated Press investigation found the US government had paid dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals millions of dollars in Social Security benefits.

Note: Explore powerful evidence that the CIA secretly smuggled Nazi war criminals into the US to teach them mind control techniques.




Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required
2014-10-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/us/law-lets-irs-seize-accounts-on-suspicion...

For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. She deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account. She has not been charged with any crime. The money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time. Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers ... the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint. Richard Weber, the chief of Criminal Investigation at the I.R.S., said in a written statement ... that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is ... a crime. The Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm ... analyzed structuring data from the I.R.S., which made 639 seizures in 2012, up from 114 in 2005. Only one in five was prosecuted as a criminal structuring case. Law enforcement agencies get to keep a share of whatever is forfeited. This incentive has led to the creation of a law enforcement dragnet, with more than 100 multiagency task forces combing through bank reports, looking for accounts to seize. There are often legitimate business reasons for keeping deposits below $10,000, said Larry Salzman, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice. For example, he said, a grocery store owner in Fraser, Mich., had an insurance policy that covered only up to $10,000 cash.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles.




Stand Tall, America, We're No. 1!
2014-10-23, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-engelhardt/america-is-number-one_b_6034626....

Here's the beginning of a little post-9/11 list: six incontestable areas where America is #1. Investment in our military and our national security state! No other country comes within a light year of us! In 2011, the defense budgets of the next 13 countries combined didn't quite equal ours and we've been dumping up to a trillion dollars yearly into the national security budget since 9/11. We're #1 in "renditions" ("kidnappings")! Post-9/11, at least 136 "terror suspects" (some certifiably innocent) were taken by the CIA and other American outfits off the streets of global cities. We're #1 in knocking off wedding parties from the air! At least eight of them in three countries! Bridal parties, brides and grooms, hundreds of wedding goers obliterated by American air power! We're #1 in military bases on foreign soil! We have hundreds of them across the planet, some the size of small American towns. We're number #1 in invading, occupying, and/or bombing Muslim countries, 14 of them since 1980! I challenge you, find me another country with such an accomplishment. We're number #1 in investing in militaries that won't "stand up"! At least $25 billion for the Iraqi military alone (and you know how successful we were there, since it recently collapsed, allowing us to rearm it and stand it up again). And that's nothing compared to the Afghan military into which our country had poured $51 billion by 2011 and billions more thereafter.

Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable sources.




Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems
2014-10-23, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/assange-google-not-what-it-seems-279447

In June 2011, (WikiLeaks’ founder) Julian Assange received an unusual visitor: the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. The stated reason for the visit was a book. Schmidt was penning a treatise with Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas. Cohen had moved to Google from the U.S. State Department. Schmidt arrived first, accompanied by his then partner, Lisa Shields ... a vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Two months later, WikiLeaks’ release of State Department cables was coming to an abrupt end. Two years later, in the wake of his early 2013 visits to China, North Korea and Burma, it would come to be appreciated that the chairman of Google might be conducting, in one way or another, “back-channel diplomacy” for Washington. In 1999 ... Schmidt joined the New America Foundation. The foundation and its 100 staff serve as an influence mill, using its network of approved national security, foreign policy and technology pundits to place hundreds of articles and op-eds per year. In 2003, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had already started systematically violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). During the same period, Google ... was accepting NSA money to the tune of $2 million to provide the agency with search tools. In 2012, Google arrived on the list of top-spending Washington, D.C., lobbyists. Whether it is being just a company or “more than just a company,” Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower.

Note: Read the complete Newsweek article summarized above for Julian Assange's detailed accounting of the connections between Washington D.C. insiders, Google and related technology companies, intelligence agencies, and civil society organizations. For more about Wikileaks, read this news article summary. For more on the geopolitical big picture, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable major media sources.




Senator's "Wastebook" has everything that will fit in a pork barrel
2014-10-22, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/22/politics/tom-coburn-wastebook

Monkeys taught how to gamble and play video games. People paid to watch grass grow. Swedish massages given to rabbits. These are just a few examples from the 100 entry-long list in a book detailing government waste, compiled by retiring GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. In the 2014 edition of the "Wastebook," Coburn notes that getting rid of the practice of pork barrel spending is next to impossible. "What I have learned from these experiences is Washington will never change itself," he said." Some of the worst offenses listed in the book: The $1 billion price tag the Pentagon paid to destroy $16 billion worth of ammunition, enough to pay a full years' salary for over 54,000 Army privates. The book cites Pentagon officials who said the surplus ammunition has become "obsolete, unusable, or their use is banned by international treaty." The Army spent nearly half a million dollars -- $414,000 -- to develop a video game called "America's Army," a version of which terrorists have used to train for missions, according to National Security Agency e-mails sent in 2007 and leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Coburn notes ... the national debt, which is "quickly approaching $18 trillion."

Note: For more, see the Chicago Tribune's article on "Wastebook".




Michigan becomes 5th US state to thwart direct Tesla car sales
2014-10-22, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102109510

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill on Tuesday that will keep electric carmaker Tesla Motors from selling its cars directly to consumers in the state, home to the biggest U.S. automakers. Snyder said in a letter to members of the state House of Representatives on Tuesday that the measure merely "clarifies" existing law not to allow direct manufacturer-to-consumer retail sales. Those sales, he said, must be made through franchised dealers. Michigan becomes the fifth U.S. state to keep Tesla from easily selling cars directly to consumers. In all of those states except Michigan, Tesla operates "galleries" where consumers can view Tesla cars but cannot discuss prices, take test drives or order cars. Michigan has gone a step further, said Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla vice president of business development, and will not allow even the informational galleries. Tesla, which has challenged some of the long-held conventions of auto industry, wants to set up its own sleek stores rather than to sell through a franchised dealer network. The Michigan measure, passed 38-0 in the state's Senate and 106-1 in the House, does not mention Tesla by name. But, O'Connell said, the legislation clearly is addressed to the company. O'Connell said the bill was pushed through the legislature without chance for public debate because well-connected auto dealers did not want a public airing of the state's policy. Detroit-based General Motors on Tuesday said it supported the new measure.

Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable sources. You can also read more about inspiring innovations and how these are suppressed.




Your Taxes Funding Nazi War Criminals' Retirement?
2014-10-20, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nazi-war-criminal-social-security-benefits-ap-inv...

Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States. Among those receiving benefits were armed SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished; a rocket scientist who used slave laborers to advance his research in the Third Reich; and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland. The deals allowed the Justice Department's former Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations, to skirt lengthy deportation hearings. Social Security benefits became tools, U.S. diplomatic officials said, to secure agreements. The Social Security Administration expressed outrage in 1997 over the use of benefits. Austrian authorities were furious upon learning after the fact about a deal made with Martin Bartesch, a former SS guard at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. "It was not upfront, it was not transparent, it was not a legitimate process," said James Hergen, an assistant legal adviser at the State Department from 1982 until 2007. "This was not the way America should behave." Neal Sher, a former OSI director, said the State Department cared more about diplomatic niceties than holding former members of Adolf Hitler's war machine accountable.

Note: Explore powerful evidence that the CIA secretly smuggled Nazi war criminals into the US to teach them mind control techniques.




Afghan Poppies Hit Record High Despite $7 Billion US Campaign
2014-10-20, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/afghan-opium-poppies-hit-record-hi...

Opium poppy cultivation has hit an all-time high in Afghanistan despite a 10-year, $7.6 billion effort by the U.S. government to fight it, according to a new report. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, who authored the report, warned Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Eric Holder and other top U.S. officials that the gap between expenditures and results should make them rethink their approach. "Given the severity of the opium problem and its potential to undermine U.S. objectives in Afghanistan," said Special Inspector General John Sopko in a letter to the officials, "I strongly suggest that your departments consider the trends in opium cultivation and the effectiveness of past counternarcotics efforts when planning future initiatives." According to SIGAR's report, the value of the opium produced in Afghanistan reached $3 billion in 2013, a 50 percent increase from 2012, and is likely to increase still further in 2014. Some of the increase is due to the use of affordable “deep well” technology over the past decade to turn 200,000 hectares of former desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land. Some of the land is now being used to grow opium poppies. Opium poppy cultivation is used to fund the Taliban and other insurgent groups and stokes corruption, says the report.

Note: A 2002 news article shows that "the Taliban in July 2000, coupled with severe droughts last year, reduced the country's opium yield by 91% in 2001." Yet once the allies defeated the Taliban, opium production hit new records. Do you really think the plan was to eradicate opium? This huge source of income is used to fund all kinds of secret projects. Read powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.




Vote all you want. The secret government won't change
2014-10-19, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-gov...

The Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, but Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried. Our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defence and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office. IDEAS: Where does the term “double government” come from? GLENNON: Walter Bagehot - the scholar who presided over the birth of The Economist magazine. IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government? GLENNON: The documented evidence in the book is substantial — there are 800 footnotes. I think the American people ... believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.




The Cost of Campaigns
2014-10-19, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/us/the-cost-of-campaigns.html

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010 tossed aside decades of legislative restrictions, freeing corporations and unions to spend as much as they wished. Six months ago, the Supreme Court took its Citizens United decision further. In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, it struck down long standing caps on what an individual may contribute to all federal candidates, collectively, in any two-year election cycle. With conservative justices dominant, the court expanded the concept that money is equivalent to speech, protected by the First Amendment. Corporations, it said, enjoy the same political rights as individuals. A study by the Sunlight Foundation, an advocate for government transparency, found that 31,385 people — that is 1 percent of 1 percent of the United States population — accounted for 28 percent of all disclosed contributions in the 2012 elections. This year, an analysis by The New York Times shows, more than half of broadcast advertising in the midterm elections has been paid for by groups that reveal little or nothing about their donors. Overwhelmingly, the main beneficiaries have been conservative organizations.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing election news articles from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.




How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Party
2014-10-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/magazine/how-billionaire-oligarchs-are-beco...

Before 2002, parties could accept unlimited donations from individuals or groups (corporations, labor unions, etc.). The McCain-Feingold law, as it came to be known, banned soft-money contributions, and it also prohibited political groups that operate outside the regulated system and its donation limits from running “issue ads” that appear to help or hurt a candidate close to an election. In 2010, the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court effectively blew apart the McCain-Feingold restrictions on outside groups and their use of corporate and labor money in elections. That same year, a related ruling from a lower court made it easier for wealthy individuals to finance those groups. What followed has been the most unbridled spending in elections since before Watergate. In 2000, outside groups spent $52 million on campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. By 2012, that number had increased to $1 billion. The result was a massive power shift. With the advent of Citizens United, any players with the wherewithal, and there are surprisingly many of them, can start what are in essence their own political parties, built around pet causes or industries and backing politicians uniquely answerable to them. No longer do they have to buy into the system. Instead, they buy their own pieces of it outright. “Suddenly, we privatized politics,” says Trevor Potter, an election lawyer who helped draft the McCain-Feingold law.

Note: To understand the decisive role that money plays in elections politics, read this entire, revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing election process news articles from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.




Free Pigs From the Abusive Crates
2014-10-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/opinion/free-pigs-from-the-abusive-crates.html

Would you cram a dog into a crate for her entire life, never letting her out, until you took her to the pound to kill her? Of course you wouldn’t, and yet that’s effectively what happens to most mother pigs in this country. They spend their lives in what are called gestation crates ... immobilized in these crates until they are taken to the slaughterhouse. Pigs are smart. They learn rudimentary video games as quickly as chimpanzees. When abnormally enclosed, their muscles and bones waste away, and they go insane from boredom. Fortunately, we’re seeing changes. We’re seeing policies to get rid of these crates from the likes of McDonald’s, Burger King and Smithfield Foods. We’ve also seen bills or initiatives passed in nine states that require that all pigs be given at least enough space to turn around. It’s a modest improvement, but the pork producers are fighting it. These laws are bipartisan. A poll conducted last month by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found that 93 percent of New Jersey voters wanted to see these crates banned. A year ago, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a ... bill (to ban gestation crates) that had passed the Assembly and Senate by huge bipartisan majorities.

Note: For more along these lines, see this excerpt of a deeply revealing ABC News article about standardized animal cruelty in chicken farming.




FBI director attacks tech companies for embracing new modes of encryption
2014-10-16, The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/16/fbi-director-attacks-tech-comp...

The director of the FBI savaged tech companies for their recent embrace of end-to-end encryption and suggested rewriting laws to ensure law enforcement access to customer data in a speech on Thursday. James Comey said data encryption such as that employed on Apple’s latest mobile operating system would deprive police and intelligence companies. Privacy advocates contend Comey is demagoguing the issue. It took a June supreme court ruling, they point out, for law enforcement to abandon its contention that it did not require warrants at all to search through smartphones or tablets, and add that technological vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers and foreign intelligence agencies as well as the US government. Tech companies contend that their newfound adoption of encryption is a response to overarching government surveillance, much of which occurs ... without a warrant, subject to a warrant broad enough to cover indiscriminate data collection, or under a gag order following a non-judicial subpoena. Comey did not mention such subpoenas, often in the form of National Security Letters, in his remarks. Comey acknowledged that the Snowden disclosures caused “justifiable surprise” among the public about the breadth of government surveillance, but hoped to mitigate it through greater transparency and advocacy. Yet the FBI keeps significant aspects of its surveillance reach hidden even from government oversight bodies. Intelligence officials said in a June letter to a US senator that the FBI does not tally how often it searches through NSA’s vast hoards of international communications, without warrants, for Americans’ identifying information. Comey frequently described himself as being technologically unprepared to offer specific solutions, and said he meant to begin a conversation, even at the risk of putting American tech companies at a competitive disadvantage.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.




Travelers, say bon voyage to privacy
2014-10-16, Dallas News
http://www.dallasnews.com/investigations/watchdog/20141016-watchdog-travelers...

Did you know that when you buy an airline ticket and make other travel reservations, the federal government keeps a record of the details in a file called Passenger Name Record or PNR? If airlines don’t comply, they can’t fly in the U.S., explains Ed Hasbrouck, a privacy expert with the Identity Project who has studied the records for years and is considered the nation’s top expert. Before each trip, the system creates a travel score for you, generated by your PNR. Before an airline can issue you a boarding pass, the system must approve your passage, Hasbrouck explains. That’s one way people on the No Fly List are targeted. The idea behind extensive use of PNRs, he says, is not necessarily to watch known suspects but to find new ones. Want to appeal the process? “It’s a secret administrative process based on the score you don’t know, based on files you haven’t seen,” Hasbrouck says. The program collects seemingly trivial details. If you have an argument with an airline gate agent and that agent enters a notation ... that record stays in your PNR. “The U.S. government is getting the data and sharing it in ways we don’t fully know about with other governments,” Hasbrouck says. The information collected by the airlines is shared with third-party data companies who store it. Where? In the cloud. Make you feel safer? In Canada and the European Union, the collection of this information spurred public debate. But not here.

Note: Read this excellent article for lots more details on how the government spies on your travels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable sources.




Chat logs reveal FBI informant Sabu’s role in hacking of Sun newspaper
2014-10-14, The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/14/fbi-informants-role-hacking-su...

The FBI is facing questions over its role in a 2011 hacking attack on Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper in the UK after the publication of chat logs showed that a man acting as an agency informant played a substantial role in the operation. The attack was so successful that the publisher took down the websites of the Sun and the Times while technicians worked out the scale of the hack. Unsealed documents ... seen by the Guardian, show Hector Xavier Monsegur – known widely online as “Sabu” and frequently referred to as the leader of Lulzsec – played an active role in the operation. The chat records show Monsegur encouraging others to break further into News International systems, claiming to have sources at the Sun, and even apparently helping to break staff’s passwords and to source files for stealing. Monsegur was, however, at that time operating under the direction of the FBI. The close involvement of an FBI asset working under extraordinarily close supervision in a hacking attack on a media outlet ultimately owned by a US-listed company is set to raise further questions about the agency’s approach to tackling online crime. The logs also show Sabu on multiple occasions offering detailed technical help to find additional records on different servers, breaking in to new servers, or obtaining more files – which could easily have included those belonging to journalists at either the Sun or Times. The Sun, which is challenging the UK government over police accessing the phone records of one of its reporters, declined to comment on the apparent FBI involvement in attacks on its servers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources. For an in-depth look at how these practices have been shown to interfere with a free press, see these excellent, reliable Mass Media Resources.




Journalist Talks Confidential Sources, Getting Subpoenaed And His New Book
2014-10-14, National Public Radio
http://www.npr.org/2014/10/14/356121289/journalist-talks-confidential-sources...

TERRY GROSS: James Risen [is] an investigative reporter for The New York Times. He, along with Eric Lichtbau, broke the story about warrantless wiretapping. Now Risen is facing a prison sentence for refusing to reveal his source or sources for that story. [Risen] has a new book called "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power And Endless War," which is a series of investigations into who's making money on the War on Terror and what are some of the secret operations within it. You recently wrote an article in The New York Times with Laura Poitras who broke the Edward Snowden story along with Glenn Greenwald. And you reported on how American intelligence is trying to harvest facial imagery with the intention of - what's it for? RISEN: Facial recognition ... in a way that no [one] really understood before has become a central focus of the NSA today. They can link that up with a signals intelligence, which is the communications that they intercept [and] basically find where you are, what you're doing, who you're seeing and virtually anything about you in real time. GROSS: So ... your big story turned out kind of differently than the celebrations facing Woodward and Bernstein. RISEN: I think the times have changed. We had this period in journalism for about 30 years where there was the government and the press. The government ... wouldn't go after whistleblowers or reporters very aggressively. It's only after the - after 9/11 and after the plane case, which you may remember where Judy Miller was sent to jail. I think the post-9/11 age, the government has decided to become much more aggressive against reporters and whistleblowers.

Note: The above quotes are from the transcript of a radio interview that you can listen to by clicking on the news story link provided. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about high level manipulation of mass media from reliable sources.




Probe of silencers leads to web of Pentagon secrets
2014-10-14, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/probe-of-silencers-lead...

The mysterious workings of a Pentagon office that oversees clandestine operations are unraveling in federal court, where a criminal investigation has exposed a secret weapons program ... to manufacture an untraceable batch of automatic-rifle silencers. The silencers — 349 of them — were ordered by a little-known Navy intelligence office at the Pentagon known as the Directorate for Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration. The directorate is composed of fewer than 10 civilian employees, most of them retired military personnel. Court records filed by prosecutors allege that the Navy paid the auto mechanic — the brother of the directorate’s boss — $1.6 million for the silencers, even though they cost only $10,000 in parts and labor to manufacture. If the foreign-made weapons were equipped with unmarked silencers, the source said, the weapons could have been used by U.S. or foreign forces for special operations in other countries without any risk that they would be traced back to the United States. No documentation has surfaced in court to indicate that Navy officials formally signed off on the silencer project, although many pretrial motions have been filed under seal. Hall, the directorate official charged with illegally purchasing the silencers, has asserted that he received verbal approval for the secret program from Robert C. Martinage, a former acting undersecretary of the Navy, according to statements made during pretrial hearings. Martinage was forced to resign in January after investigators looking into the silencer deal found evidence that he had engaged in personal misconduct ... unrelated to the silencer contract.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.




Public’s rights getting slowly pared back
2014-10-11, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article...

Last week, a federal judge told us what we already knew. Namely, that police in Ferguson, Mo. violated the rights of protesters demonstrating against the shooting death of Michael Brown. U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry struck down an ad hoc rule under which cops had said people could not stand still while peacefully protesting. Still, one’s sense of righteous vindication is tempered by the fact that police felt free to try this absurd stratagem in the first place — and by the fact that this was hardly the only recent example of police using the Constitution for Kleenex. Ferguson, let us not forget, is also the town where reporters were tear gassed and jailed and photographers ordered to stop taking pictures. In our unthinking mania for laws to “get tough on crime,” we actually made it tougher on ourselves, altering the balance of power between people and police to the point where a cop can now take your legally-earned money off your sovereign person and there’s little you can do about it. Indeed, at the height of the Ferguson protests, an L.A. cop named Sunil Dutta published in the Washington Post an Op-Ed advising that, “if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.” Don’t argue, he said, even if you “believe (or know)” your rights are being violated. Deal with it later. It’s all well and good that now, several weeks after the fact, a court affirms the rights Ferguson police denied. But that’s a poor consolation prize. An argument can be made that rights which aren’t respected in the moment they are asserted are not really rights at all.

Note: For more on the history of civil rights violations in Ferguson, MO, see this deeply revealing news article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of recent news articles about the erosion of our civil liberties from reliable major media sources.




Court Spotlights the FBI’s Super-Secret National Security Letters
2014-10-09, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/09/court-spotlight-super-secret-na...

[National security letters], the reach of which was expanded under the Patriot Act in 2001, let the FBI get business records from telephone, banking, and Internet companies with just a declaration that the information is relevant to a counterterrorism investigation. The FBI can get such information with a subpoena or another method with some judicial oversight. Can the government make demands for data entirely in secret? That was the question yesterday before a federal appeals court in San Francisco, where government lawyers argued that National Security Letters — FBI requests for information that are so secret they can’t be publicly acknowledged by the recipients — were essential to counterterrorism investigations. One of the judges seemed to question why there was no end-date on the gag orders, and why the burden was on the recipients of NSLs to challenge them. “It leaves it to the poor person who is subject to those requirements to just constantly petition the government to get rid of it,” said the judge, N. Randy Smith. The FBI sends out thousands of NSLs each year – 21,000 in fiscal year 2012. Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft filed a brief in support of the NSL challenge, arguing that they want to “publish more detailed aggregate statistics about the volume, scope and type of NSLs that the government uses to demand information about their users.” Twitter also announced this week that it was suing the U.S. government over restrictions on how it can talk about surveillance orders. Tech companies can currently make public information about the number of NSLs or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders they receive in broad ranges, but Twitter wants to be more specific.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.




Robert B. Reich: Why we allow Big Pharma to rip us off
2014-10-07, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/sns-201410071030--tms--amvoices...

America spends a fortune on drugs, more per person than any other nation on earth, even though Americans are no healthier than the citizens of other advanced nations. Of the estimated $2.7 trillion America spends annually on health care, drugs account for 10 percent of the total. Government pays some of this tab through Medicare, Medicaid and subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But we pick up the tab indirectly through our taxes. We pay the rest of it directly, through higher co-payments, deductibles and premiums. Drug company payments to doctors are a small part of a much larger strategy by Big Pharma to clean our pockets ... The drug companies say they need the additional profits to pay for researching and developing new drugs. But the government supplies much of the research Big Pharma relies on, through the National Institutes of Health. Meanwhile, Big Pharma is spending more on advertising and marketing than on research and development -- often tens of millions to promote a single drug. And it's spending hundreds of millions more every year on lobbying. Last year alone, the lobbying tab came to $225 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's more than the formidable lobbying expenditures of America's military contractors. In addition, Big Pharma is spending heavily on political campaigns. In 2012, it shelled out over $36 million, making it the biggest political contributor of all American industries.

Note: Read how cancer research is crippled by the greed of drug companies in the New York Times article Profits Over Patients. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.





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